For try something new month, I was intrigued by the number of shrubs and bitters and other odd old revival drinks out there. I’m not a big soda fan anymore, but sometimes I do want something more interesting than water. Shrub sounded like a good way to dive in and also finally get into Infusing Flavors, a cookbook I bought this winter and haven’t really used yet.
Now, if I’m honest, I’m cheating her. “Infusing” isn’t really a new technique for any of us. Ever made tea? You’ve infused. Congrats! But adding more flavor to oils, vinegars, sugars, and salts is a great way to expand my kitchen, and learning to make syrups, gastriques, and other sauces is the easiest way to liven up a quick weeknight dish. Here’s my issue with “real” infusing — it takes TIME. Shrub takes maybe 15 active minutes to make, but 5-7 days to infuse. Even tea takes time, but not a week. I’m not that great at planning that far in advance. The shrub is tasty, though, and worth waiting to drink.
A shrub is a “drinking vinegar,” in this case apple cider vinegar infused with pear, cloves, and nutmeg. This recipe makes a syrup that you then mix with water, carbonated or not as you please. I chose the pear shrub because if the subtle spicing and the fact that it’s pear season. This is not an original STFAA recipe, but maybe you’ll decide to try a shrub — and then try infusing some more flavors into your ingredients?
AGAIN, A NOTE: THIS RECIPE SHOULD SIT IN YOUR FRIDGE FOR A WEEK BEFORE SERVING.